Dec 04, 2009 News Comments Off on Red Thread pickets on OP lawns
– continues call for Sexual Offences Bill
In the continued quest to raise awareness about the urgent need for the much anticipated Sexual Offences Legislation, placard-bearing representatives of Red Thread, among other concerned individuals, converged outside the Office of the President yesterday.
The picketing exercise has become a weekly feature which sometimes gains support from organisations the likes of Help and Shelter and Every Child Guyana, according to Joy Marcus, a Red Thread Representative.
She said that the exercise first started in the month of March as part of Red Thread’s efforts to step up the fight against violence against children. She added that it was since the year 2000 that Government had promised to put in place the Sexual Offences Legislation thus the picketing exercise is intended to serve as a reminder.
“This is 2009 and we are close to the end of this year and we haven’t been able to see this legislation enacted. So we have planned that we are going to continue to call for this legislation…This is one of the actions that we have engaged to call for it.”
According to Marcus, the legislation is especially important to children in terms of them getting justice if they are sexually molested. “At present the things that are happening with these children when cases are reported to the police leaves much to be desired…Sometimes there are statements with omissions…They have to go to the courts then the children are further victimised in the very courts and they look as though they are the ones that did something wrong.”
With the new legislation Marcus said that it is understood that such situations should be a thing of the past and be erased from society. For this reason, she said that it is expected that Parliamentarians will take heed and work towards having the legislation be recognised as something that is urgently needed in the society. “We know the urgency of this…This is not a joke, it is a serious matter. Our children are suffering and we need justice and we need it now.”
And Marcus stated that the picketing move will not cease until the legislation is passed. However she noted that even when it is passed efforts will be made to monitor how it is implemented. “A lot of times legislations are passed but they are not implemented properly so we have already planned to watch how it is implemented closely.
We don’t want it to be passed and not serve any purpose,” she added.
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